Baseball

Joyce Has Record Setting Day in Tampa Bay Rays Win At Baltimore

Matt Joyce had career-high five hits in the Tampa Bay Rays win Sunday at Baltimore.Matt Joyce had career-high five hits in the Tampa Bay Rays win Sunday at Baltimore.

BALTIMORE, Md. - Former Florida Southern Moccasin Matt Joyce had a record setting day here Sunday in the Tampa Bay Rays 12-7 victory over the Baltimore Orioles to complete its four-game series at Camden Yards.

In the Rays' series finale victory, Joyce, who played for the Moccasins from 2003-05 and was a member of the school's 2005 NCAA Division II National Championship squad, went 5-for-6 at the plate in Sunday's game as he recorded two home runs, two singles, a double and 4 RBIs to help the Rays take three of four games in the series against their AL East rivals.

With his five hits, Joyce, who played both left and right field in Sunday's game, matched a Rays single game record and set a career record with five hits. Along with recording five hits, Joyce also tied the franchise record for total bases in a game with 12. He is just one of five Rays players to record five hits in a game and the first since B.J. Upton had five hits against the New York Yankees on Oct. 2, 2009, while Joyce is third Ray player to tally 12 total bases in a game and first since Evan Longoria against Minnesota on Sept. 18, 2008.

"You really don't have many days like that, so it's nice to have one of those days and enjoy it," Joyce said in a release posted on MLB.com following his record setting performance.

Joyce opened the game with a double in the first inning of Oriole starter Miguel Gonzalez and hit his first of two home runs in the third inning to give the Rays a 2-0 lead. The homer in the third inning ended a drought of 135 plate appearances without a homer for Joyce as his last homer before Sunday came against Cleveland on May 11.

In the fifth inning, Joyce reached on an infield single to third base and added another single in the sixth as he drove in Ben Zobrist with a run to give the Rays a 5-4 lead.

Joyce gave the Rays a 12-4 lead in the seventh inning as he drove a Brian Matusz pitch to right to plate both himself and Desmond Jennings. The multi-homer game by Joyce was third of his major league career and first since Sept. 29, 2012 at the Chicago White Sox.

In his final at-bat of the game in the ninth inning, Joyce grounded out shortstop on the first pitch he saw from Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter. He finished the game a triple shy of hitting jus the second cycle in team history.

Along with Joyce's big day at the plate, the Rays also got multi-hit games from Zobrist (3-for-5), Logan Forsythe (2-for-4), Jose Molina (2-for-5) and Kevin Kiermaier (2-for-5) in improving to 35-49 on the season and move within 10 games of AL East leader, Toronto.

For the game, the Rays tallied 12 hits on 18 hits in the win, including 11 extra base hits as they had five home runs and six doubles. The five homers tied a season-high for the Rays set against the Yankees on April 19.

"We have't had anything like that all year, so it was nice to come out here in a big series and swing the bats like we did," said Joyce, who raised his season batting average up 15 points to .274 after his 5-for-6 day at the plate.

On the season, Joyce has played in 76 games for the Rays and has recorded 62 hits, scored 29 runs, hit 17 doubles, one triple, five home runs and has driven in 33 runs and has a .360 on-base percentage and a .425 slugging percentage. In his major league career, he is a .251 hitter as he has hit 82 home runs and has recorded 290 RBIs and has a career .341 on-base percentage.

Joyce played for the Moccasins from 2003-05, hitting .306 with 40 doubles, seven triples, 22 home runs and 121 RBI. 

Click here for the complete story from MLB on Joyce's record-setting day

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